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Timberwolves Will Either Draft LaMelo Ball Or Trade Pick Away

Timberwolves Will Either Draft LaMelo Ball Or Trade Pick Away

The Minnesota Timberwolves have the top overall selection in the 2020 NBA Draft. With the high pick comes a lot of pressure and responsibility to “get it right.”

According to Jonathan Wasserman of the Bleacher Report, that pressure has started getting to Minnesota brass.

“According to a Western Conference executive, word around the league is Minnesota isn’t leaning one way at No. 1, sounds ‘confused’ and feels pressure after ‘messing up last year by trading for Jarrett Culver.’

“The belief is that Minnesota’s priority is to trade, realistically down the board assuming an established star won’t become available.”

Culver, who the Timberwolves took last year, averaged 9.2 points on 40.4% shooting, 3.4 rebounds, and 1.7 assists. The Wolves ultimately traded up to get him – trading away Dario Saric and the 11th pick in the draft in the process.

If Minnesota opts to keep the top pick, then it appears as though LaMelo Ball will be the likely selection.

“If the Wolves stick at No. 1, multiple sources say they’d bet on LaMelo Ball having the edge over Anthony Edwards,” Wasserman noted.

Apparently this stems from concerns over Edwards’ “drive and enthusiasm for winning.”

LaMelo, meanwhile, doesn’t have that as a potential red flag – but may still be an odd fit in Minnesota. His playing style is very ball dominant, and the Wolves already have players like that on the roster – namely D’Angelo Russell.

Ironically, Russell was forced out of Los Angeles when the Lakers drafted LaMelo’s brother, Lonzo, for roughly the same reason.

Edwards averaged 19.1 points on 40.2% shooting, 5.2 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per outing for Georgia this past season.

LaMelo, meanwhile, averaged 17.0 points on 37.5% shooting, 7.6 rebounds, and 6.8 assists in 12 games for the Illawarra Hawks in Australia’s National Basketball League this past year.

Up to this point, LaMelo has refused to acknowledge that he has spoken to the Wolves.

Recently, LaMelo’s father, LaVar, came out and said his son would be a good fit for multiple organizations – but not the Golden State Warriors.

On Monday, LaMelo pushed back against that.

“My old man, he’s his own man,” he said.

“He has his opinions, I have mine. Like I said, I feel like I can play on any team. Anywhere’s a great fit.”

This is going to be a big draft for the Wolves. The pressure is really on for the organization to surround star center Karl-Anthony Towns with talent, or risk losing him in the near future.

Last week, a report emerged that Towns was “as good as gone” from Minnesota if things didn’t change in a hurry.

One way or another, the Wolves are going to make a franchise-altering decision heading into this draft. Whether it works out for them or not long-term remains to be seen.

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Charles Kruger

Charles Kruger has been credentialed to cover two Super Bowls, four NBA Finals, and one World Series. A 20-year veteran in the sports world, he has sources spanning the NBA, MLB, NFL, UFC and NASCAR. Currently residing in Los Angeles, Calif., he is Game 7's go-to source for rumors surrounding the Lakers, Clippers and Dodgers.

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